I have been a studio recording artist since 1979, playing piano, organ, synthesizers, acoustic and electric guitar and electric bass. I will teach you the basics of studio recording, how to make the most out of your time in the studio, and let you in on the "insider secrets" that recording artists use to set them apart!
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the piano, guitar or electric bass? Or maybe you've just felt like brushing up your musical knowledge and playing skills? Now’s your chance to fulfill those dreams!
About Me: San Francisco Bay area pianist/guitarist/bassist; I've been playing music for over 50 years. I'm classically trained with a solid foundation and knowledge of music theory, and have 35 years experience teaching, recording and performing. I have done session work and/or performed with members of Journey, Santana, Jackson Browne, Eddie Money, The Doobie Brothers and Greg Allm
an to name a few. Let me take my education and experience and pass them on to you!
My main goal as a music instructor is to pass along my love and knowledge of playing music to my students, always vigilant for sharing shortcuts that will help the student to achieve their lesson goals faster. Some teachers teach only out of books. I am not such a teacher. Books solve the problem of learning music in generalizations and by their very nature, cannot take into consideration personal issues a student will encounter.
Most students are able to learn enough of the necessary mechanics at the first lesson to actually play something before they leave that lesson. This is important because they realize that playing music IS possible. I always enjoy the look on their face when they realize they have actually “played” their instrument at their first lesson.
I am not the sort of teacher who yells and screams if the student comes in unprepared. I realize that people come to me for a variety of reasons and I work with them with whatever they bring in. I am patient and if a student is not understanding a certain aspect, I bring into play alternate approaches. Not everyone assimilates information in the same way. Learning music should be an enjoyable adventure for the student and I venture to say that my students enjoy coming to their lessons. We have fun, and we learn.
>>> FYI: I'm happy to come to your home if traveling to my studio in Alameda isn't convenient for you, and I cover most of the East Bay, including Oakland, Berkeley, San Leandro, San Lorenzo, Orinda, Lafayette, Walnut Creek and (of course) my own lovely town of Alameda. As much as I love our "City by the Bay", traveling to San Francisco, Marin, or the Peninsula just isn't cost or time effective for me; I apologize to you fine folks and potential students of the West Bay!
Billy May 17, 2016
Tim M. February 22, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Great teacher and great time taking the lessons! I wish we could take more lessons with him but we've recently moved out of the area. Thanks for everything Steven!
Noor A. October 18, 2015
Classical Piano ·
In home Verified Student
I was, initially, unsure whether I had made the right decision in using TakeLessons to revive my piano-playing skills, but after meeting Steven, I have no doubts that it was one of the best decisions I have yet to make.
Steven is wonderful! He is inspired and inspiring, encouraging, and his passion inspires passion - I could not have asked for better! Steven is an absolute pleasure, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone!
Learning basic Pro-tools skills can do any musician a world of good. Record your practices. Learn how to multi-track and create good quality demos of your songs or performances.
I was born and raised in Los Angeles but I've just recently relocated to the Bay Area. I am a Professional Musician/Songwriter/Vocalist teaching songwriting, voice, and performance technique as well as a combination thereof. I began singing at a very young age for anyone who would listen (so my parents tell me) and began taking music lessons shortly thereafter. I am now a USC graduate and have also studied music privately for over 25 years as well as at the esteemed Vocal Power Institute. I've professionally released several albums and I am grateful to have had my music featured/licensed by
Starbucks, NBC, The CW network, NikeWomen.com, and MTV. I've toured extensively playing to audiences across the country and have had the honor of sharing the stage with artists ranging from Conor Oberst, Inara George, Johnette Napolitano, Martha Wainwright, to Jackson Browne. I have experience teaching both adults and children, and enjoy teaching beginning as well as intermediate to advanced students. In addition to teaching privately, I have experience teaching children through my volunteer work with The Girls Rock Alliance, a non-profit organization that aims to teach young girls about self-confidence and self-expression through music education.
*** Lesson Details *** I am easy-going, friendly and I believe that developing a great student/teacher rapport is the key to making the most out of the time we spend together. The curriculum I utilize is specifically designed to meet the student's individual needs. Initially we'll spend time assessing where you are and where you'd like to be. Most importantly, we'll set goals and create a lesson plan that will allow you to attain them. We'll work on basic techniques (or intermediate to advanced depending on skill level), for example - breath support, vowel placement, posture, relaxation, the fundamentals of song structure and music theory. We'll also work on the psychology of performance and eliminating any unwanted tension that may arise. We'll choose songs to work on that you'll enjoy singing, or analyze the songs you love in order to discover and/or improve upon your own songwriting abilities.
*** Studio Equipment *** Front music studio area w/ guitars, computer with protools, keyboard, microphone, pa system, and seating for parents
*** Travel Equipment *** I can provide a small keyboard and/or guitar
*** Specialties *** My main musical styles that I perform and teach are Pop, Rock, Folk, and Americana/Country. I specialize in creating a lesson plan that suits the needs of each individual student.
Evelynne L. January 7, 2016
In studio Verified Student
Connected well with my 9 year old daughter. Strong musical and teaching skills and a pleasure to work with. Run don't walk to see Arrica!
Richard M. October 1, 2015
In studio Verified Student
First lesson very comfortable, relaxed yet structured, getting to know each others personality, musical abilities.
Take home exercises.
Looking forward to the next lesson.
Julie B. September 10, 2015
Music Performance ·
Arrica has been such a wonderful teacher for my 11-year-old daughter. (She was 9 when she started with Arrica.) Our girl has a lot of raw talent but needed some good instruction that wasn't too formal. Africa is just the right blend of traditional singing technique and fun rock-n-roll, record your own music on Garage band. We love her!
At age 12 Ken picked up a guitar and fell in love with the instrument. He began with an obsession with Metallica and related bands that later evolved to a passion for classical and jazz music, music theory.
From 2008 -2010 completed the music program at Diablo Valley College in June of 2010, which includes extensive coursework in Music theory, Piano and Guitar. Since 2011 Ken has been a Jazz Guitar Performance Major at Cal State East Bay. There he has studied Classical and jazz Guitar performance with world class musicians.
"Music has many different levels and the beautiful thing is the
re is a place for everybody. I have spent a lot of time throughout my music career going “back to basics” in order to become a better musician. We are all capable of becoming great musicians and just because someone can play faster than you doesn't necessarily make them better. Music provides everything from healing power to just plain fun for the human spirit so I always encourage students to go at there own pace and work within their abilities."
*** Lesson Details *** 20+ years experience as a musician and teacher Ken has taken self taught route and the lessons route. "I believe 100% that being taught by someone who has sufficient experience really provides the roadway for a solid foundation whether you are planning on being a pro, just for fun and all levels in between. The combination of self-discipline and a good teacher are a must to have as a musician."
Amongst many other approaches of teaching music, I try to instill the 3 most lacking areas most musicians usually have to begin.
1. Sight reading: Unfortunately most common with guitarists! Tablature is a somewhat useful way to start but reading music will open many doors and opportunities for any musician
2. Collaboration: A teacher provides one way of collaboration as well as a band or an ensemble at school or in the community.
3. Improvisation: I provide a music theory background and I have a method plan for chord progressions, and help with learning the entire guitar.
I take step-by-step approaches towards giving a student encouragement and instilling music appreciation. I am very organized so every lesson will be documented and we will work on specific areas of fundamental development. Most of all have fun! That what gets us playing music in the first place!
I look Forward to meeting you!
*** Studio Equipment *** Lesson room, music stands, benches, amps, two pianos, computer area for recording,
*** Travel Equipment *** Their own instrument and any necessary cables, amps etc. for them I will provide my own
*** Specialties *** I mostly specialize in jazz and classical guitar and have taught blues, rock, metal and Latin American guitar. All ages and all levels. I also teach western music theory (classical and jazz) from the baroque period to modern day. I teach beginning piano which consists of the basic fundamentals (i.e. scales, posture hand positions, etudes and beginning repertoire)
Rahul S. November 6, 2014
Classical Guitar ·
Ken is an awesome teacher and an great person. He teaches my 5 year daughter and she loves his lessons and his jovial approach. Within 4 weeks, she has picked up a lot of things and is improving day by day. He is patient as you ought to be with the kids and yet persistent enough to stick to the task.
I am really looking forward to them picking up songs in the coming lessons. I will recommend him anytime and completely vouch for his credentials and ability as an excellent guitarist as well as teacher.
Jon C. August 18, 2014
Classical Guitar ·
In studio Verified Student
Ken is a talented musician, nice person, and a fantastic teacher. I wanted to branch out into classical guitar after many years of playing other styles. Ken was good at adapting to my background and goals.
Francesca G. June 30, 2014
In studio Verified Student
Ken W. is an awesome teacher, my daughter loves her lessons with Ken, he is very patient kind and makes my daughter feel very comfortable. He also is very positive inspiring. I plan on keeping Ken as my daughters instructor for a very very long time
As the creator and producer of San Diego IndieFest and Say It Records, I have a unique understanding of the industry, and love to share that with my students.
It's paramount to me that each student's lesson be customized to her / his specific goals and needs. Whether those are for personal enrichment or for professional aspirations, your lesson will be personalized according to what's important to you.
I LOVE to teach, and appreciate my wee ones just as much as my elders...those who consider themselves "tone deaf" as much as my advanced students. As far as Special Needs go - I feel we *ALL* have special needs....every child and every adult! ;)
Hello Students / Parents!
I specialize in providing a fun, inspiring and safe space for each student to reach their goals - whether that be for the novice singer whose been wrongfully told they shouldn't sing, the more experienced singer looking to do more with their music, or the budding songwriter, actor or speaker looking to develop the talent and drive they feel within them.
I always remember the inspiration and patience I received from my best teachers, so I strive to provide exactly that to my own students. I sing and teach most vocal styles, with the exception of opera and screamo
, and utilize my studio to create a supportive, empowering experience singing, writing and recording. I absolutely love to teach both children and adults and look forward to learning how to best support each one of my students in their individual path toward realizing their potential.
Here's a bit about my background and musical experience:
Bachelors of Fine Arts degree (Theatre/Voice) from United States International University Graduated Valedictorian Chula Vista School of Creative and Performing Arts Graduated Valedictorian Workshops and studying with Bill Doyle, Roy Mote, Andrew Barnicle, Jack Tygett, Leanne Summers, among others.
"After seeing Danielle, I was impressed with her intensity as a performer. Her ability to get behind a lyric was stunning, she lives every line. As an artistic performer, I've yet to see better." -Tony Ferguson / Interscope Records: No Doubt, Bush, Fisher
My original band, Danielle and The Masses, has been recording and performing live since 2001. We are endorsed by Ani Difranco, The Black Eyed Peas, The Bruce Hornsby Band, and have shared the stage with artists as Jamie Foxx, CAKE, Metric, En Vogue, David Byrne, Berlin, Margaret Cho, Cyndi Lauper, Jonatha Brooke, Beth Hart, Semi Precious Weapons and more.
I have written and performed music and voice over for Ace Ventura, Nutty Professor, VH1, various TV shows and independent documentaries, Eveoke Dance Theatre, among others, as well as having recorded eight professional CDs of various styles on various record labels.
For over ten years, my record / production company, Say It Records has been producing socially conscious music events throughout San Diego and Southern California that promote independent music, film, art, community and human rights. I also co-own Durga Sound, a teaching and production studio, with producer Alicia Champion, as well as San Diego IndieFest, a powerful community event which promotes and supports music, film, art and civic engagement.
I have a great time utilizing my contacts in the industry to help my students get work/ press / entrance into the schools of their choice, etc. For example, I'm happy to report that just last year we were able to book eight musicians on GLEE, as well as lots more in other capacities including using their music in commercials and film and helping them get cast in local theatre and accepted into arts-centered schools.
*** Lesson Details *** I start on the first lesson by becoming clear about what the new student's goals and desires are from there, we start developing technique to achieve those goals along with having fun right away doing what they came for - singing, writing, voice over, acting or using a combination of these things be it for professional purposes or personal fulfillment. Every lesson is personally customized to meet the specific goals of each student. As a teacher, I'm encouraging and fun, passionate and positive. While I'm definitely not "strict", I do appreciate focus and drive. However, I often work with people who have special needs and are working on developing those very things. I'm especially good at helping people through progress plateaus, roadblocks, stage fright, loss/ stress. Using music as a means of release and healing - for both kids and adults - is something I do a lot of and am very comfortable with.
As far as technique is concerned, I focus on utilizing posture, correct breathing and developing relaxed, strong support, so that the muscles are developed properly and without stress, enabling the student's voice to constantly grow while also steering clear of the injury that can accompany the straining that often happens when singing without proper technique.
I strongly encourage students to record their lessons on a mobile device so they can practice easily on their own, and so they eventually have a record of how far they've grown. We mostly use tracks to develop repertoire, prepare for auditioning and performances, and to have fun singing the music that excites each student the most.
*** Studio Equipment *** Apple Mac Pro Quad Core running OS 10.8.3 Avid Pro Tools 10 HDX Propellor Reason 4.0 UA 2-610 Microphone Pre-amp UA LA-610 Microphone Pre-amp and Compressor UA Teletronix LA2A Compressor/ Limiter Behringer ADA 8000 more...
*** Specialties *** Using music, writing and voice as a means of expressing yourself, growing as a performance artist, coping in challenging times, as well as a means of going professional and earning income are all areas I specialize in. Utilizing proper technique and learning how to sing / speak safely is also an area I focus on a great deal.
Learning precisely what each student wants is the key factor in my decision on how to achieve their goals. For example, using Speech Level Singing is definitely entrenched in my teaching, but I may not highlight it as much for those who want a more classical sound.
I definitely excel with the following: first timers, very young kids, students working through stage fright, artists looking to develop their own original project, those seeking growth in their process of writing / recording / performing, those who are interested in using music and / or writing as therapy as well as with amateurs who've always wanted to do something musical but who think they are "too old" or too "untalented/short/tall/ fill in the blank" to try. I believe we all have something to say with our lives - finding the voice within you can be an incredibly powerful and transformative experience!
Kim Noriega January 15, 2016
In studio Verified Student
If there were ten stars available I'd rate Danielle 10 stars! She's a natural teacher--knowledgeable, patient, inspiring and clearly cares deeply about helping people be their best. Plus, she's got a great sense of humor and adds a touch playfulness to each lesson. And of course, she can sing like nobody's business!
Jocelyn October 18, 2015
I came to Danielle as someone who loved to sing as a child and had some natural ability but had kind of 'lost my voice' somewhere along my way into my 20s. Singing had become a heavy, loaded, personal thing that I felt scared of or very shy about. Danielle created a safe space and provided excellent guidance for me to get reacquainted with my own sound, my own voice, and it was a very powerful experience. Thank you Danielle!
Kara R. October 4, 2015
In studio Verified Student
Danielle is one of the most connected, in tune, emotionally intelligent individuals I've ever met. A truly gifted teacher and artist, she is the whole package! Absolutely priceless experience, would highly recommend these lessons to anyone looking to find his/her voice.
Want to record your music, learn about mic placement, learn pro tools or logic pro, and get your mix sounding right? Come to my home studio or I can visit yours and learn all about the basic and advanced techniques of recording and mixing.
My name is Matthew, and I teach many people of different ages academic topics from arithmetic to algebra 2/trigonometry, science, reading/grammar, as well as all kinds of music and instruments!
I hold a Masters of Arts in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland, CA and a Bachelor of Arts in Music from UC Santa Cruz.
Musically, I specialize in drum set and percussion, piano, voice, and guitar instruction (4 and 6 string) woodwinds, brass, and violin family strings. I have been teaching in Walnut Creek at my home studio/office for 10 years, worked with local schools such
as Walnut Creek Intermediate, Meher School, Las Lomas High School, and Stanley Middle School.
Some basic pedagogical ideas:
I make sure each student learns the necessary techniques, rhythms as well as reading and performing skills that each player must posses on their instrument or voice to properly play the instrument. Alongside this crucial, ever-lasting quest to have a good sound and play the repertoire of the instrument I teach many other aspects of music that most students indulge in as they progress. These including but not limited to ear-training, improvising, composition, theory, music history and appreciation, transcribing, arranging and performing popular music, basic tracking and recording/computer compositions, as well as basic singing and drumming. Each student has different goals and interests that draw them toward certain aspects of music. My goal is to supplement the basic music training while offering guidance in more complex areas of music that bring excitement and enjoyment to learning. I work with each student to find not only what aspects of music they are interested in but also what styles and groups they enjoy and aspire to play or just enjoying listening or singing along. Balancing all of this during a 30-60 min lesson and then during your practice time in the week can be tough, so I work with each student to set priorities and goals based on their interest and skill and follow through with them!
Here are a few of my BASIC POLICIES; please read so you can know if we will be a good fit. If you have any questions about them feel free to ask, but I rarely make exceptions!
-I only accept students who take weekly lessons
-I only accept students (usually) who have already started reading
-All students and parents must be on a fairly flexible schedule and reply to phone calls or texts on the day of lessons. With 30+ concurrent students and families, schedules are constantly changing to accommodate each other. If it works for everyone to help another student out by switching, then I will request that of you, but I ALWAYS GUARANTEE YOUR SCHEDULED LESSON TIME.
-I always guarantee your full lesson time. Driving from my home studio and house to house around the East Bay during the after school/work hours does come with traffic delays, so I ask that each student (unless previously noted) keeps 10-15 minutes before and after their lesson free in case of an unexpected delay or cancellation.
- I require AT LEAST 72 HOURS ADVANCED NOTICE FOR RESCHEDULES. If you need to reschedule then I prefer knowing a week in advance. IF YOU CANCEL WITHIN 72 HOURS I DO NOT GUARANTEE A MAKEUP SPOT.
-I rent beginner instruments so that you can get started while I help you shop for an instrument. This includes weekly checkups, maintenance, changing strings, cleaning, and covers any basic damage done to the instrument (for example, broken bridges, broken bow hair, pegs, tuning parts, replacing strings, minor dents on brass). This does not cover non-reusable parts (strings, reeds, drum heads, cork/slide/valve oil, rosin) as well as damage to the body of the instrument or theft. I charge $45 dollars a month flat for the instrument and service.
If you are at all interested for yourself or your child please don't hesitate to call and ask questions.
Have a great day!
Sam Maldonado January 11, 2016
In studio Verified Student
great time at my first lesson
Denise S. October 31, 2015
In studio Verified Student
My daughter took lessons with Matthew for 5 months and we are severely disappointed. We originally switched because he was constantly changing the days/times of our lesson to accommodate his schedule or that of new clients, which is a terrible way to do business. However, after having one lesson with a new teacher, we realized that my daughter never learned the basics of viola playing - how to hold the instrument properly, how tightly the bow should be strung, the names of the parts of the instrument, etc. He also rented us an instrument that didn't tune properly at twice the cost of what local music stores were charging. She also was not properly measured for that instrument, which I learned was standard. Since I am not musically trained, I went on faith that she was being taught properly. After the first lesson with a teacher who actually knew what they were doing, my daughter was in tears over all the things she didn't know. I feel like all those basics should have been covered in the first month of instruction. In addition, his bio states that he has been teaching for 10 years. At his current age, that would mean he started teaching at the age of 13 or 14. I'm very disappointed in our experience with both this instructor and with Take Lessons for not vetting their instructors properly.
Adriana September 25, 2015
In home Verified Student
It was excellent. He has the patience and the knowledge. I do recommend him.
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